Live and Let Fly: The long story of Paul McCartney’s 007 has been revealed

It always seemed inconceivable that the James Bond producers would want to replace Paul McCartney with another singer Live and let dieespecially since his song titled to the 1973 classic Roger Moore was a huge hit.

But the story told by Beatles record producer George Martin, and repeated by McCartney, was that 007’s producers thought McCartney’s recording with his band Wings was just a demo and they wanted a female voice.

Now Alan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair, authors of a forthcoming book, have discovered unpublished contracts in the archives of an American university that show that Bond producers always wanted McCartney for the opening credits and another artist for the film’s disco scene.

Roger Moore and Jane Seymour in the 1973 James Bond movie Live And Let Die. Photo: Anwar Hussain/Getty Images

Kosin, music critic for The New York Times For the 38 years to 2014, he said, “This has been a long-running story in the music world—my producers Live and let die He wanted to replace McCartney with a singer. Martin told the story several times. Paul picked it up several times. In fact, internal communications revealed that it was always in the contract to have two versions of the song.”

In his 1979 memoirs, All you need is earsMartin recalled playing a recording of McCartney for Harry Saltzman, who had produced the Bond films with Albert “Kobe” Broccoli: “He sat me down and said, ‘Great. ‘” Like what you did, very nice record, like the score. Now tell me, who do you think we should sing it to? That totally surprised me. After all, he was carrying a Paul McCartney recording we made. It was Paul McCartney – Paul McCartney. But he was clearly treating it like a demo disk. I don’t follow. I said: You have Paul McCartney. ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s fine. But who are we going to sing it for the movie? ‘I am sorry. I still won’t follow up, I said, feeling like maybe there was something I wasn’t told. “You know — we should have a girl, right?” “

In one interview, McCartney said, “The film’s producers found a record player. After the recording was finished, they said to George, ‘This is great, great show. ‘” Now when are you going to work on the real track, and who are we going to sing it to? George said: What? This is the real path.

“It became part of that collection of stories that George and Paul had been telling over the years, and no one ever got it right,” said Sinclair, the award-winning documentary maker.

He added that the archival material – internal communications between lawyers and others representing McCartney and Bond’s producers, Eon Productions – “undermines the story and shows it in a very different light”.

The contracts reveal that McCartney’s father-in-law, Lee Eastman, negotiated with him a fee of $15,000 (£6,430 at the time) for authorship. Live and let die With his then wife, Linda. Additional financial arrangements, including publishing rights, earned him about $50,000, 50% of the net profits.

Paul McCartney and his wife Linda
Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, arrived for the premiere of Live and Let Die in 1973. Her father was McCartney’s lawyer. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In one of the documents, Ron Cass, former head of the Beatles Label Records label used by Eon, wrote to Saltzman: “Paul McCartney agreed to write a song called Live and let die. He and his music group Wings will perform the title song under the opening titles.”

So we can definitively say they won’t replace Paul,” Kozinn said. One of the versions was with Wings, which will play over the film’s opening titles and closing credits. There will be a live version of the song performed during the club scene by BJ Arnau, the soul singer. When We saw those documents, we couldn’t help but think it was just a misunderstanding.

“Martin was unaware of the terms of that contract, but Paul certainly would have. One of the things we found out was that if it was a good story, Paul would deal with it. He had no reason to assume anyone would see that contract.”

Among the research in their book, McCartney’s Legacy: Volume One: 1969–1973, which is described as the most detailed exploration of McCartney’s creative life outside of the Beatles. This reflects that in the 50 years since the Beatles broke up, McCartney’s 26 post-Beatles albums have sold more than 86.5 million copies.

McCartney has been contacted for comment.

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